NASA institute to study health effects of space travel, how to protect astronauts

From visual impairment to muscle atrophy, we’re starting to get a good understanding of the problems prolonged space travel can cause to the human body. But, we still don’t really know much about how to address them.

In an effort to remedy that problem, NASA is teaming up with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Engadget reports the two organizations will operate a new institute set to ramp up on October 1, which will be dedicated to studying and developing ways to protect astronauts on longterm missions. Put simply: They’re trying to figure out how to make sure the astronauts we send to Mars actually make it there and back safely.

It’s obviously still in the early stages, but the institute — dubbed the Translational Research Institute (NTRI) — will be tasked with developing "point-of-care astronaut health and performance applications.” Considering NASA wants to send astronauts on a months-long trip to Mars by 2030, and a company like SpaceX could get there even sooner, they certainly have a whole lot to figure out in the next decade or so.

Do you think we’ll ever be able to truly crack it, or will our own physical limitations (not the scientific ones) ultimately be what holds us back from the stars?

(Via Engadget)

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